312

Gil Selinger: 4/4 Tet

Michael McCaw By

Sign in to view read count
Gil Selinger: 4/4 Tet Gil Selinger has performed in Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Tonic, the Knitting Factory, and other venues throughout New York and the world. And like most cellists, most listeners have no idea who he is. This despite a multifaceted background that includes classical music performances, "SoundPainting with conductor Walter Thompson, and collaborations with Marilyn Crispell, Archie Shepp, and Satoshi Takeishi. Selinger plays with a confident and determined tone on the cello, which is well documented on 4/4 Tet, subtitled "Original Compositions for Cello Quartet."

These seven original compositions are performed singlehandedly by Selinger and multitracked to represent a quartet of cellos played simultaneously (two other originals are performed solo). 4/4 Tet can at times be a captivating listen. At its his peak, Selinger creates dramatic arcs that carry the listener along, as on "Oxegynqt. Opening with mutitracked cellos playing long tones that tug and pull at one another in different directions, he creates a sense of tension that builds and releases as different tracks take the fore and dispel the other cellos to the background or bring them along to complement the lead. His sound is robust and you can hear his 19th Century instrument resonating beautifully as he picks, scrapes, and melds the bow with its strings.

Referring to his process as "Classical Improvisation, Selinger tends to untapped fields of classical methodology and the improvisational nature of other musical realms, such as jazz. The results are decidedly classical in nature, but they fall in the vein of the modern style, rather than Classical or Romantic modes. He is no Erik Friedlander, either; rather, he is a classical musician who is trying to bridge to the music without actually performing it per se.

This all becomes clear on pieces like "Klarqt which, along with the album, is dedicated to a wedding couple. Here Selinger borrows liberally from various traditional wedding themes and reconstitutes them with dramatic classical improvisation. Tethered by these reference points, he builds melodies that harmonize with one another, until the other cello tracks give way to a single repeating figure, ultimately leading back into familiar territories and improvisations based on them. This is not sappy, tired music. Rather it is heartfelt and embracing, marking one of the numerous highlights of 4/4 Tet.

There are hiccups in other improvisations, however. At various points Selinger sounds a bit lost in when layering these quartets track by track. However, those are usually only momentary lapses that can be disregarded when absorbed as part of the whole. In the end, this music fits a variety of contexts. Listeners looking for a challenging yet accessible set of music performed by the enigmatic cello will discover a satisfying set here.

Track Listing: Slow Madness; 3 Pieces for 4 Celli; Bugeyze; Klarqt; Quandry2; Oxygenqt; Dirge & Waltz; Three Short Pieces for Solo Cello; Stretchqt.

Personnel: Gil Selinger: cello.

Title: 4/4 Tet | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Peacock Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Antidote CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017
Read Musical Journey Through Time CD/LP/Track Review Musical Journey Through Time
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2017
Read Gentle Giants CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2017
Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Langen ro" CD/LP/Track Review Langen ro
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "The Harry Warren Song Book" CD/LP/Track Review The Harry Warren Song Book
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Beauty & Truth" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty & Truth
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 13, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.